Industrial IoT should be easy, right?! Slap on some sensors, a gateway from one of the many CPU-in-a-ruggedized-box vendors, haul away all the data to your favorite cloud vendor’s “IoT platform" and voila - predictive powers abound!
Talk to practitioners, however, and you might hear a different story. I bet, it is a story of overwhelming number of sensor vendors, myriad proprietary protocols, ill-equipped gateways, binder-thick cellular service bills, data-streams that cloud-hop endlessly and the ever elusive analytical insights that would someday justify the costs of the project.
Where did we fall short, you may ask?
The short answer is - you probably did not. State of enabling technologies for IoT are still in their toddler-hood (yes, even after a couple of decades of hoopla). Now the long answer - there are many technical factors which often interplay and diminish the value from your IIoT project;
Battery technology is just about catching up to support un-tethered, ubiquitous sensor deployment.
Communication protocols are still power hungry. Low-power protocols (e.g. LoRA) are not widely deployed / adopted.
Cellular is still expensive for transporting huge amounts of data to the cloud. It does not make sense to ship all that data to the cloud.
Gateways lack abilities to securely and cost-effectively process data streams locally. Support for distributed processing of workloads is even scarce.
Industrial technology vendors are slow in adopting open, interoperable standards. Too much of their legacy business remains at stake.
Some non-technical factors also play into this, but I will save it for another post.
Does this mean, we resign ourselves to PoC purgatory for the foreseeable future? Not necessarily . At Ramp Digital, we help clients identify which of these inhibitors apply to their specific use case and help carve out a path for their own IIoT journey, so you are not stuck in a PoC hell forever. We apply our expertise of cutting-edge IIoT technologies, human factors and use-cases to carve out projects that have highest chances of achieving intended business outcomes.
What are your IIoT challenges? Connect with us for a no-obligation consulting session.